Veal Osso Buco

Another comfort food dish coming at ya.  This osso bucco is so rich and tender, its just melt-in-your-mouth goodness!  Osso buco is Italian for “bone with a hole,” referencing the center of a veal shank or upper part of the leg.  It’s a relatively cheap and flavorful cut of meat, but is know to be tough unless braised for a long period of time, which is exactly why this recipe works.

This is a fantastic Sunday dinner with left overs for the week.  *Note: we often skip the last step of passing the sauce through a food mill, as we prefer the sauce on the chunky side.  So if you are thinking, “what in the world is a food mill?” and deciding not to make this because you don’t have one…don’t.  It’s not an essential step!

You will need:
4 pieces veal osso buco, about 3 pounds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, whole
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine
pinch of saffron
juice of 3 oranges (about 1 cup)
2 dried bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seed
2 cups chicken broth
3 curls of lemon peel

Preheat the oven to 375° and season both sides of osso buco with the salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot one high heat.  Add the meat and brown on both sides, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from the pot and place on a plate.  Leave the pot over high heat.  Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Add the carrot, onion and celery.  Stir well to coat the vegetables with oil and allow to soften and caramelize, about 4 minutes.  Be sure to scrape the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pot with a spoon as you go.  Add the garlic, tomato and tomato pate.  Mix to combine and cook until the tomato softens, about 1 minute.

Add the flour and stir until all ingredients are well combined, about 1 minute.  Add the wine and allow to evaporate just until the mixture becomes a loose paste, 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in the saffron and orange juice.  Return the osso buco to the pot and turn the heat to low.  Coat nicely in the sauce mixture.

Tie the pay leaves, time and rosemary together with butcher’s string and add to the pot.  Tying them together will make it easier to remove later.  Add the red pepper flakes, fennel seed, chicken broth and lemon peel.  Scrape down the dies of the pot again, then use a wet cloth to wipe down the sides. This will stop bits from burning and flavoring the dish when you put it in the oven.

Cover the pot and bring the liquid up to a low boil, then put the bot in the oven and cook at a lazy bubble, checking it periodically, until the meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours.  Flip the meat over in the pot about halfway through to ensure even cooking.

Remove pot from oven and return it to the stovetop.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pot, set it on a serving plate and cover with plastic to keep it warm.  Remove herbs and discard.  Turn the heat up to high and cook sauce down until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Pass the sauce through a food mill into a sauce pot, pushing through as much liquid as possible.  Scrape anything that sticks to the underside of the strainer.  Discard anything bigger that collects in the top without passing through.  Put each piece of osso buco on a plate, over pasta if you wish, and pour 2 ladlefuls of the sauce over each pice of meat.  Serve immediately.

serves: 4
time: 45 minutes + 2 hours cooking time
from: Urban Italian

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